All Packages  Class Hierarchy  This Package  Previous  Next  Index

Class java.text.RuleBasedCollator

java.lang.Object
   |
   +----java.text.Collator
           |
           +----java.text.RuleBasedCollator

public class RuleBasedCollator
extends Collator
The RuleBasedCollator class is a concrete subclass of Collator that provides a simple, data-driven, table collator. With this class you can create a customized table-based Collator. RuleBasedCollator maps characters to sort keys.

RuleBasedCollator has the following restrictions for efficiency (other subclasses may be used for more complex languages) :

  1. If a French secondary ordering is specified it applies to the whole collator object.
  2. All non-mentioned Unicode characters are at the end of the collation order.
  3. Private use characters are treated as identical. The private use area in Unicode is 0xE800-0xF8FF.

The collation table is composed of a list of collation rules, where each rule is of three forms:

    < modifier >
    < relation > < text-argument >
    < reset > < text-argument >
 
The following demonstrates how to create your own collation rules:

This sounds more complicated than it is in practice. For example, the following are equivalent ways of expressing the same thing:

 a < b < c
 a < b & b < c
 a < c & a < b
 
Notice that the order is important, as the subsequent item goes immediately after the text-argument. The following are not equivalent:
 a < b & a < c
 a < c & a < b
 
Either the text-argument must already be present in the sequence, or some initial substring of the text-argument must be present. (e.g. "a < b & ae < e" is valid since "a" is present in the sequence before "ae" is reset). In this latter case, "ae" is not entered and treated as a single character; instead, "e" is sorted as if it were expanded to two characters: "a" followed by an "e". This difference appears in natural languages: in traditional Spanish "ch" is treated as though it contracts to a single character (expressed as "c < ch < d"), while in traditional German "" (a-umlaut) is treated as though it expands to two characters (expressed as "a & ae ; < b").

Ignorable Characters

For ignorable characters, the first rule must start with a relation (the examples we have used above are really fragments; "a < b" really should be "< a < b"). If, however, the first relation is not "<", then all the all text-arguments up to the first "<" are ignorable. For example, ", - < a < b" makes "-" an ignorable character, as we saw earlier in the word "black-birds". In the samples for different languages, you see that most accents are ignorable.

Normalization and Accents

The Collator object automatically normalizes text internally to separate accents from base characters where possible. This is done both when processing the rules, and when comparing two strings. Collator also uses the Unicode canonical mapping to ensure that combining sequences are sorted properly (for more information, see The Unicode Standard, Version 2.0.)

Errors

The following are errors:

If you produce one of these errors, a RuleBasedCollator throws a ParseException.

Examples

Simple: "< a < b < c < d"

Norwegian: "< a,A< b,B< c,C< d,D< e,E< f,F< g,G< h,H< i,I< j,J < k,K< l,L< m,M< n,N< o,O< p,P< q,Q< r,R< s,S< t,T < u,U< v,V< w,W< x,X< y,Y< z,Z < =a?,=A? ;aa,AA< ,< ,"

Normally, to create a rule-based Collator object, you will use Collator's factory method getInstance. However, to create a rule-based Collator object with specialized rules tailored to your needs, you construct the RuleBasedCollator with the rules contained in a String object. For example:

 String Simple = "< a < b < c < d";
 RuleBasedCollator mySimple = new RuleBasedCollator(Simple);
 
Or:
 String Norwegian = "< a,A< b,B< c,C< d,D< e,E< f,F< g,G< h,H< i,I< j,J" +
                 "< k,K< l,L< m,M< n,N< o,O< p,P< q,Q< r,R< s,S< t,T" +
                 "< u,U< v,V< w,W< x,X< y,Y< z,Z" +
                 "< =a?,=A?" +
                 ";aa,AA< ,< ,";
 RuleBasedCollator myNorwegian = new RuleBasedCollator(Norwegian);
 

Combining Collators is as simple as concatenating strings. Here's an example that combines two Collators from two different locales:

 // Create an en_US Collator object
 RuleBasedCollator en_USCollator = (RuleBasedCollator)
     Collator.getInstance(new Locale("en", "US", ""));
 // Create a da_DK Collator object
 RuleBasedCollator da_DKCollator = (RuleBasedCollator)
     Collator.getInstance(new Locale("da", "DK", ""));
 // Combine the two
 // First, get the collation rules from en_USCollator
 String en_USRules = en_USCollator.getRules();
 // Second, get the collation rules from da_DKCollator
 String da_DKRules = da_DKCollator.getRules();
 RuleBasedCollator newCollator =
     new RuleBasedCollator(en_USRules + da_DKRules);
 // newCollator has the combined rules
 

Another more interesting example would be to make changes on an existing table to create a new Collator object. For example, add "& C < ch, cH, Ch, CH" to the en_USCollator object to create your own:

 // Create a new Collator object with additional rules
 String addRules = "& C < ch, cH, Ch, CH";
 RuleBasedCollator myCollator =
     new RuleBasedCollator(en_USCollator + addRules);
 // myCollator contains the new rules
 

The following example demonstrates how to change the order of non-spacing accents,

 // old rule
 String oldRules = "=?;?;?;?"    // main accents
                 + ";?;?;?;?"    // main accents
                 + ";?;?;?;?"    // main accents
                 + ";?;?;?;?"    // main accents
                 + ";?;?;?;?"    // main accents
                 + "< a , A ; ae, AE ;  , "
                 + "< b , B < c, C < e, E & C < d, D";
 // change the order of accent characters
 String addOn = "& ? ; ? ; ?";
 RuleBasedCollator myCollator = new RuleBasedCollator(oldRules + addOn);
 

The last example shows how to put new primary ordering in before the default setting. For example, in Japanese Collator, you can either sort English characters before or after Japanese characters,

 // get en_US Collator rules
 RuleBasedCollator en_USCollator = (RuleBasedCollator)Collator.getInstance(Locale.US);
 // add a few Japanese character to sort before English characters
 // suppose the last character before the first base letter 'a' in
 // the English collation rule is ?
 String jaString = "& ? < ?, ? < ?, ?";
 RuleBasedCollator myJapaneseCollator = new
     RuleBasedCollator(en_USCollator.getRules() + jaString);
 

See Also:
Collator, CollationElementIterator

Constructor Index

 o RuleBasedCollator(String)
RuleBasedCollator constructor.

Method Index

 o clone()
Standard override; no change in semantics.
 o compare(String, String)
Compares the character data stored in two different strings based on the collation rules.
 o equals(Object)
Compares the equality of two collation objects.
 o getCollationElementIterator(String)
Return a CollationElementIterator for the given String.
 o getCollationKey(String)
Transforms the string into a series of characters that can be compared with CollationKey.compareTo.
 o getRules()
Gets the table-based rules for the collation object.
 o hashCode()
Generates the hash code for the table-based collation object

Constructors

 o RuleBasedCollator
 public RuleBasedCollator(String rules) throws ParseException
RuleBasedCollator constructor. This takes the table rules and builds a collation table out of them. Please see RuleBasedCollator class description for more details on the collation rule syntax.

Parameters:
rules - the collation rules to build the collation table from.
Throws: ParseException
A format exception will be thrown if the build process of the rules fails. For example, build rule "a < ? < d" will cause the constructor to throw the ParseException because the '?' is not quoted.
See Also:
Locale

Methods

 o getRules
 public String getRules()
Gets the table-based rules for the collation object.

Returns:
returns the collation rules that the table collation object was created from.
 o getCollationElementIterator
 public CollationElementIterator getCollationElementIterator(String source)
Return a CollationElementIterator for the given String.

See Also:
CollationElementIterator
 o compare
 public int compare(String source,
                    String target)
Compares the character data stored in two different strings based on the collation rules. Returns information about whether a string is less than, greater than or equal to another string in a language. This can be overriden in a subclass.

Overrides:
compare in class Collator
 o getCollationKey
 public CollationKey getCollationKey(String source)
Transforms the string into a series of characters that can be compared with CollationKey.compareTo. This overrides java.text.Collator.getCollationKey. It can be overriden in a subclass.

Overrides:
getCollationKey in class Collator
 o clone
 public Object clone()
Standard override; no change in semantics.

Overrides:
clone in class Collator
 o equals
 public boolean equals(Object obj)
Compares the equality of two collation objects.

Parameters:
obj - the table-based collation object to be compared with this.
Returns:
true if the current table-based collation object is the same as the table-based collation object obj; false otherwise.
Overrides:
equals in class Collator
 o hashCode
 public int hashCode()
Generates the hash code for the table-based collation object

Overrides:
hashCode in class Collator

All Packages  Class Hierarchy  This Package  Previous  Next  Index

Submit a bug or feature